Boston Lyric Opera Postpones ‘Madama Butterfly’ Production

By Francisco Salazar

The Boston Lyric Opera has postponed plans for its new production of “Madama Butterfly.”

The company announced that “after internal reflection, and discussions with company leadership and the original creative team, BLO has changed previously announced plans to mount a new production of Puccini’s ‘Madama Butterfly.’”

Acting General & Artistic Director Bradley Vernatter said that the change is an affirmation that the Boston Lyric Opera is committed to creating inclusive environments and intentional storytelling for its audiences and its artists.

The General and Artistic Director added, that the company will embark in a year-long process “to examine how we can engage more thoughtfully and responsibly with the music, dramaturgy, and modern cultural implications of ‘Butterfly.’ In considering our planned production of ‘Butterfly,’ it became clear this is not the moment for BLO to present a theatricalized version of the opera. We recognize this piece remains a masterwork, and for good reason, but we are taking responsibility to unpack the layers of this story — particularly as they relate to appropriation, race, and gender stereotypes. BLO remains committed to employing our previously engaged ‘Butterfly’ artists, and engaging with them in a thoughtful way around the opera.”

The news comes as the company is announcing its 2021-22 season which will include both live and streamed productions.